Home Page




At Botley School we currently run a two year topic cycle which we teach in phase teams –

Early Years – Nursery and Reception

KS1 – Years 1 and 2

Lower KS2 – Years 3 and 4

Upper KS2 – Years 5 and 6

This allows us to share resources and ideas, to organise trips and visits into school which will involve all of the phase.  Teachers can share expertise and planning and ensure that children receive a consistent curriculum.  Our topics have broad history and geography themes and will then creatively be encompassed into different subjects – for example, designing clothing and armour for Romans, painting views of Stonehenge, collaging woolly mammoths, expressing Anglo Saxon lives through dance, writing river poems in English…….we endeavour to make links for children to fully understand the purpose of their learning and for them to make their own connections between ideas.  Where possible and relevant we include seasonal studies and world events such as the Olympic Games if it is a leap year!  


Below is the current Botley School long term topic overview Years A and B - teachers may adapt the order to fit in with world events, seasons etc but coverage will be thorough.





Key Stage 1

Lower Key Stage 2

Upper Key Stage 2

Year A

Autumn Term -Year A



Theme - Journeys

Let’s go exploring


The children settle into a new school year- they observe seasonal changes and festivals.

They find their way around school and their journey to their home.  They follow journeys around the school grounds through a number of subjects.




How have people travelled in the past and how has it changed?  Children use geography skills to map simple journeys and environments around them.  Who are the inventors who have changed our transport and how to make timelines.

Stone Age to Iron Age


Children learn about life in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. As well as understanding the chronology of this fascinating time, children will learn about the food, religion, homes, technology and art and how each of these areas developed and changed over time and how amazing developments occurred from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.


Dinosaurs and Fossils


Children learn about the fascinating creatures that inhabited the Earth and study the main epochs of fossils. We investigate famous 18th Century palaeontologists Mary Anning and William Buckland. We explore fossil footprints and fossils humans, ice age creatures and their fossils. The study of dinosaurs, their eggs, behaviour and extinction.   We learn about Darwin and the amazing story of evolution. What are we thinking about dinosaurs today?


Spring Term – Year A



Theme – Changes through time and place


What’s changed?


Children celebrate the seasons and festivals.  How much have the children grown?

Children think about their own personal histories.

The Great Fire of London and Nuturing Nurses in history


This nurturing nurses topic will teach children  about the influential nurses Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and Edith Cavell. It asks children to establish what makes a person significant, explores and compares the lives and work of these nurses and considers how these individuals have influenced nursing today.

A significant historic event from the 17th Century! Contrast fire-safety from the past with today. Study the buildings of the period and create your modern buildings. Study the rhymes and songs of the time




Invaders and Settlers: Anglo-Saxons …. develop children’s knowledge of the Anglo-Saxons and help them understand how this important group fits into the chronology of Britain.

Contextualise the Anglo-Saxon period with a timeline of Britain. Through discussion, children understand the terms ‘invaders’ and ‘settlers’ and discuss motivations for emigration. Gain historical insight into the lives of Anglo-Saxon and British people.


Earth Matters – Mountains and Rivers


The key aspects of physical Geography that children need to understand and describe in KS2. The children gain a thorough knowledge of the water cycle, coasts and rivers, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, climate zones and biomes through applying the knowledge gained from their research in practical tasks such as model making, drama, artwork and dance.  Study the physical geography of coasts and coastal features. Learn about coastal erosion and the impact of the sea on human activity.


Summer Term – Year A


Theme – The natural world

Animal Boogie


Celebrating the animals from around the world and closer to home.  Their impact on our lives.

Learning about our planet and how to look after it.  Thinking about the areas of the world the animals come from.

Carnival of the Animals


Children study Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals and learn about the fascinating creatures that feature in the movements of the music. They learn about the formation of an orchestra, the range of instruments involved, and Saint- Saëns himself. Learn about mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and fossils around the world.  Children can discover how the music describes animal features.

The geography of Kenya will be studied through focusing on the main human and physical features of the country. Children will learn about the key geographical features of the country including Kenyan wildlife, landscapes and culture. Children will learn about the similarities and differences between Kenya and the UK .

Rainforest, River and Mountain


Children take a closer look at the mysteries of tropical rainforests. From the layers of the forest and its animal inhabitants, to the unique climate found in the tropics. They compare a British forest with the Amazon rainforest, and begin to explore some of the conservation issues surrounding the destruction of rainforest habitats.

Children will learn what mountains, rivers and coasts actually are, some of the forces that help create and shape these important features, and the effects they have on the world around them. Climates, human interactions, and lifestyles shaped by the mountains, rivers and coasts of the world.


Enough for Everyone

Trade and Economics


Children will think about the needs of a settlement, and the needs of the planet as a whole. They will find out where resources such as power and food come from, and look at ways in which natural resources can be conserved.  Children will find how goods and services are traded around the world. They will explore the UK's trade links today and in the past, finding out about goods imported and exported and the methods of transport used. Children will learn about the benefits of trading internationally, as well as the risks to this area. The children will also learn about fair trade and why it is important in a global market.

Year B

Autumn Term – Year B



Theme- Britain Before Us

Going to school


Introduction to school.

Finding out about ourselves and others.

Where we live.

Introduce chronology.



What did children play with in the past.  What did they wear and what was school like for them?  The children use a story or a local event to build a picture of the past- perhaps Victorian?- make timelines of toys from the past to today.  Inclusion of technology, moving toys, to cover STEM requirements in science.


Romans and Greeks – what did they do for us??


The children study the  Roman and Greek civilisations and their lasting effects on Britain. Why do Greek myths have a lasting appeal?  Which words have these civilizations left in our language? 

Where do they fit in on the time line of this island?

Living through World War 2


Covering the main aspects of WW11 and considering what happened in the local area.  Focus on a turning point in history.

Using local ‘eye-witnesses’ – childrens’ family histories etc.

Children should be able to know where this appears chronologically

Spring Term – Year B



Theme – Our Amazing World

Our Wonderful World


To understand where we live in comparison to other parts of the world.

Places for other families.


Oceans and seas



Children build their knowledge of oceans and seas around the world. They will begin to understand the different environments these represent and how they affect life on land as well as at sea. They will develop their geographical skills and build up their knowledge of food chains, exploration, and evolution!




Create a map of Europe. Investigate key European physical features. Research a European capital city, examine the weather from each of Europe’s climate zones



Travel around the world, compare disparate peoples and places in the UK, Europe, North America and South America. Look at local area and discover the similarities and differences between where children live and these other locations. Develop a range of skills and increase  expertise in a number of curriculum areas, including key human and physical geography goals.


Summer Term – Year B


Theme- Horrible Histories

Castles and Heroes


Introduction to traditional tales from the UK and beyond


Different homes

The royal family

Fairy tale stories

Jack and the beanstalk link to science


Include visit to Stately/historical home

Kings and Queens


Children learn about the rulers of England and Great Britain.  They consider British values and how we uphold them in society today.

POST 1066 – WWII

(INCLUDING LOCAL STUDY)There are a number of directions of study to cover this unit- take into consideration the time of year, group of children, fashions etc but here is an example



Study the history of clothing in Britain from 1066 through to the present day.


Year 5 and 6 teachers can decide depending on the children- their interests and heritage, the knowledge of the teacher, accessibility to resource the curriculum etc.

For example…teachers could choose to teach a unit of work about the Shang Dynasty -